drunk tired shopping couple

Drunk shopping: What Americans buy under the influence

Information verified correct on April 26th, 2017

We like a drink and we like online shopping, and the combination can be expensive.

It happens so easily. You’ve had a drink or two, you pull out your cellphone, and suddenly you’ve spent hundreds of dollars online. But what are you most likely to buy?

New data from finder.com suggests that if we drink and shop, we usually end up with new clothes. Here are the most common drink-driven purchases, according to a survey of 3,123 Americans:

Category%
Shoes and clothes7.1%
Gambling6.2%
Cigarettes6.2%
Movies/DVDs4.0%
Technology3.3%

The average amount we spend in an unplanned booze-filled buying session is $139, but the total can vary significantly depending on our sex. Men on average spend more than four times as much as women ($233 in a session versus $54).

What drinks drive those decisions? Beer tops the list, followed by wine and spirits. Our average expenditure per year on alcohol is $796, which totals up to a liver-challenging $179 billion each year.

Here are the top 10 states for expenditure on alcohol and how much a typical resident spends each week and on an annual basis:

StateWeeklyYearly
Idaho$53$2,747
Alabama$46$2,398
Rhode Island$30$1,577
Arizona$27$1,387
Iowa$26$1,363
Oklahoma$26$1,337
Georgia$24$1,225
Indiana$22$1,140
Washington$21$1,103
Louisiana$21$1,068

The top purchases for men and women look like this:

WomenMen
Shoes and clothes (8%)Gambling (9%)
Cigarettes (5%)Cigarettes (8%)
Gambling (4%)Shoes and clothes (6%)
DVDs/Movies (3%)Tech products (5%)
Narcotics (drugs, etc) (2%)DVDs/Movies (5%)

How to cut down on drunken shopping

Drunken shopping is a money mistake we’d all prefer to avoid. Worried that you’re likely to shop when you sip? Follow these tips to cut down on your spending:

  • Switch off data services on your phone before you go out drinking. You’ll still be able to text and make calls, but you won’t be able to easily indulge.
  • Don’t save credit card details when you shop online. That way, you can’t easily make a one-click purchase.
  • Set yourself clear long-term savings goals. Those will help you resist accidental shopping sprees.

Picture: Shutterstock

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